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BBQ Sauce - Make, Buy, Doctor?

jimi1234jimi1234 Posts: 101
edited 1:08AM in EggHead Forum
Hi all,

Do you make or buy your bbq sauce (or maybe doctor some store bought)?

If you buy, what is your go to brand? I am especially interested in some Canadian input on this since I have never seen a few of the brands mentioned (Blues Hog, for example). All input is welcome though as I may look for some sauces on trips to the US.

Does your decision change depending on what you are making? For example, do you just mix some vinegar with a couple other ingredients for pulled pork?

Personally, I am not a fan of NC style vinegar sauce - too vinegary! I prefer sticky and sweet style sauces.

I normally make my own but keep some Bulls Eye on hand.



  • Richard FlRichard Fl Posts: 8,244
    I like to make my own. I use the inexpensive sauces for a base, the Shealys for a slight vinegar flavor and just play with whatever I have around. My objective is a slightly sweet, light vinegary spicy combo.

    Sauce, BBQ, Chipotle, Richard Fl.

    20 Ozs Memphis Masters Original BBQ Sauce
    2 18 Ozs Bottle Kraft Hot BBQ Sauce
    1 18 Ozs Bottle Kraft Original BBQ Sauce
    1 1 Lb 2 Ozs Rendevous Famous BBQ Sauce
    1 16 Ozs Shealy's Vinegar & Pepper Sauce South Carolina
    8 Ozs Big 'Uns Carnivour Robust BBQ Sauce
    3/4 Cup Turbindo Sugar
    1/4 Cup Indian River Rainbow Pepper, Or Any Cracked Black Pepper
    3/4 Cup Diced Dry Minced Onions
    1/4 Cup Holy Smokin' Chipotle Seasoning, or Regular Chipotle chili or Cayenne pepper

    1 Mix all and store in refrigerator.

    Yield: 1 Gallon

    Recipe Type
    BBQ Sauce/Sauce

    Recipe Source
    Source: BGE Forum, Richard Fl, 2010/12/17
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,867
    i make it sometimes but always have sweet babyrays on the shelf, either straight up or watered down with vinegar, brown sugar, honey, some cayenne and or chipotle to taste, i like to drag dry ribs thru the watered down sauce
  • I'm a Blues Hog guy. 50/50 mix of Regular and TN Red. Sweet and spicy with a lot of pepper. I order it online.
    Large & MiniMax in Lexington, KY
  • chrisnjennchrisnjenn Posts: 534
    Same here. Once you try Blues Hog you will never really want another sauce.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    The first couple of times I tried to make my own, the family politely declined.

    So I went on a mail order binge. Searched the web high and low, and ordered a couple of dozen brands, with a focus on those made by competition teams. Almost all were better than the market standard. So at least once a year I make several orders for those that I liked a lot.

    But I keep on hand several bottles of the wide market brands. A few on-hand right now: Sweet Baby Ray's, Open Pit (the only brand when I was a kid,) Stubb's. My blending skills have improved, and I often add into them, with acceptable results.
  • I usually buy sweet Baby Rays (Original) and KC Masterpiece.
    SBR- I usually use as-is on chicken.

    For pulled Pork and Ribs I sometimes mix 'em, add Bourbon and a few other secret ingredients. (Lately I've been adding grape jelly to my rib sauce)
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    I like that 50/50 blend too!
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • NibbleMeThisNibbleMeThis Posts: 2,293
    I make my own sauce for pulled pork and my own mustard sauce.

    I really haven't bothered too much with making the others though. I have about 12 different varieties in my fridge right now, I'm always trying out new ones.

    The one I'm currently using a lot is Drapers BBQ, it has been getting a lot of attention on the bbq circuit so I thought I'd try it.

    Some of my faves are:
    Blues Hog Original (for the family, too sweet for me)
    Blues Hot Original/TN Red mixed 50/50 for ribs
    KC Masterpiece Hickory
    Sweet Baby Rays
    Knoxville, TN
    Nibble Me This
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    Flashback Bob wrote:
    (Lately I've been adding grape jelly to my rib sauce)

    My wife was smearing PBJ on an English muffin, her usual breakfast. I rooted around in the 'fridge, and found a couple of leftover ribs. As I began to eat, she said, "Ribs for breakfast?" I pointed at the jar on the table, and replied, "Well, these've got Smucker's on them too."
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    Here is another vote for the Blues Hog 50/50 blend. Their Honey Mustard brew is a nice change of pace and is really good on chicken wings :) :cheer:
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,187
    I make my own; all the commercial sauces are too sweet for me.

    FWIW, Consumer Reports did a taste-off recently and Stubb's took the gold.
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • DanBDanB Posts: 44
    I grew up with Open Pit too. That's almost always what I start with, but what I end up with has flavors a good bit more complex. I'd say by the time I'm done with it, my sauce is maybe 30-40% Open Pit and the rest whatever I added.

    - dan
  • I brought back a mixed case of Carnivore from Todd at the FL Minifest. Haven't found anything for sale up here that compares. Pretty sure if you asked nice he would send a case up here.

  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,128
    I have tried several store brands, but never found one I liked as well as Stubb's Original. It is very, very good on pork and chicken. A Texas product.

    :cheer: :cheer: :cheer:
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 7,672
    Stubs when I am too lazy to make one from scratch. Although lately I have been doing about a 50/50 mix of Stubs and Salt Lick's Lauren's Spicey Recipe.

    I did try to make the mustard sauce from Peace, Love and BBQ last night. Didn't have enough brown sugar, though. I had about half of what it called for, subbed in Sugar in the Raw, so I'm not sure if it came out the way it was supposed to. Wasn't overly impressed with it.

    Rowlett, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

    The Supreme Potentate, Sovereign Commander and Sultan of Wings


  • Rafter RRafter R Posts: 120
    I too go w/ Stubbs Original when I do not make my own ...

    mine: play with it for personal preference.

    1C water
    1C Heinz ketchup
    2oz apple cider vinegar
    2TBS sugar
    2tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
    2tsp Adam's chili powder
    2tsp onion powder
    2tsp garlic powder
    1/2tsp cayenne
    I let it stand over night at room temp to let the flavors meld together.
    want it thicker -- less water

    I also play with various combinations and additions, but this is my base
  • field handfield hand Posts: 420
    I like Bandana's and SBR's. My wife like KC Masterpiece. We use Blue's Hog as an adder for baked beans, it's a bit to sweet for us to use straight. Althought I do sometimes mix it 50/50 with SBR's. We make our own rubs, but haven't gotten into making sauces...yet.

    Marthasville, MO
  • horsefleshhorseflesh Posts: 206
    I have started checking out the sauces available in my store. Read the ingredients, look for sauces without high fructose corn syrup. No reason they can't be good, but I reckon that a manufacturer who is using better tasting sugar instead of HFCS is a good place to start.

    Also look for interesting things on the label, like named spices, anchovies, whatever. If you don't like vinegary sauces, make sure vinegar is lower down the list of ingredients, of course.

    I found Rufus Teague is pretty good for a national brand, but it is expensive at over $6 for 350 mL. I then found some other brands that had similar ingredients and taste at least as good for less $, but they are local to the Pacific Northwest so the names won't do you any good.

    I have not yet tried Stubb's as others suggested. Good to know it is highly regarded.
  • FSM-MeatballFSM-Meatball Posts: 215
    My favorite store bought sauce is Sweet Baby Rays, but it's much better when it's cooked, it's not the best sauce to use straight.

    I have been making my own sauce lately using Stephen Rachelins Sweet and Smoky Sauce from his Sauces, Rubs an Marinades book.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,187
    FSM-Meatball wrote:
    I have been making my own sauce lately using Stephen Rachelins Sweet and Smoky Sauce from his Sauces, Rubs an Marinades book.
    Just picked that book up, I'll have to try that one, thanks!
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • Dave in FloridaDave in Florida Posts: 1,146
    Uncle Kenny's Original and his Mustard base sauce. Both are really good stuff.

    Welcome to the Swamp.....GO GATORS!!!!
  • CrazyHarryCrazyHarry Posts: 112
    I make my own sauces, but when it comes to teriyaki I've never been able to make (or buy) anything better than Earth and Vine's Pineapple Sake Teriyaki marinade. I use it on burgers and steak and it provides some nice sweetness without overpowering the meat. Chars up real nice too, but you obviously have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

    Okay, quick story on that latter comment. Had the brother-in-law over for dinner several years ago (pre Egg days) and I was using lump charcoal for the first time. Didn't realize that it burns hotter than regular charcoal. Anyway, I marinated some thick juicy steaks overnight in the "Sake Taki" and as I was putting them on the grill my brother-in-law says, "You be careful now. That sugar will burn them steaks."

    I gave him a knowing shake of the head and said, "Don't worry. I've got it covered. Been grilling for *many* years my friend."

    Can you see where this is going?

    Sure enough 10 minutes later I go out to flip the steaks over and they looked like pieces of asphalt. No visible sign of any meat. Just... black.

    I quietly went into the house and grabbed a kitchen knife and slunk out the back door. Then I frantically started scraping at the bottom of the steaks with the knife. About 30 seconds later I hear the back door open and I think, "Please don't be my brother-in-law, please don't be my brother-in-law..." I slowly look up and guess who is standing in the doorway, shaking his head with a big smirk on his face?

    Now that I've got my Egg they need to come for another visit!!!
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 543
    I make and can my own, I will buy in a pinch though.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
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